Founded by Walter Percy Chrysler in 1925 by using what was left from the Maxwell Motor Company. Chrysler wanted to compete with General Motors, and so needed to create a range of product lines in sync – thus in 1928 a multi-tiered range would be introduced, Plymouth at the lower end, DeSoto in the lower-middle, then Dodge and Imperial at the upper end with Chrysler being the flagship.
As if shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, management could never decide just where each division sat within the Chrysler empire, and by the end of the 1930’s the order had been changed (from lowest to highest) to Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler and Imperial. The 1934 Chrysler Airflow was somewhat of a revolution in automobile
design, the beautifully elegant streamlined body being designed in the auto industries first ever wind tunnel to meet aerodynamic
principles. There are plenty of cars throughout the Unique Cars & Parts gallery pages that have proven to be too far ahead of their time for their own good, and the Airflow was such an example.
Despite the divine looks and streamliner appearance, it was the lower ranked Plymouth and Dodge divisions that would help secure the companies tenure through the depression era. During these tough economic times, only Plymouth would make an increase in sales, while the company would create a formal parts division under the Mopar brand (short for Motor Parts). After so much effort and financial investment had been put into the spectacularly unsuccessful Airflow, Chrysler opted to take a far more conservative approach to later iterations, although the 1942 DeSoto’s did feature a remarkable hidden headlight system.
Engineering advances would see the introduction of the wonderful Hemi V8’s
in 1951, and in 1955 Chrysler unveiled the Forward Look style penned by Virgil Exner. Wonderful models would follow, including the 1957 Plymouth Fury and 1957 Chrysler 300C. In 1960 Chrysler introduced unibody construction, the first of the big three, then the new compact line of Valiant’s would win critical acclaim (and none more so than in Australia).
Also see: The History of Chrysler (USA Edition)
| Chrysler Specifications
| Chrysler Brochures